CSN Top 20 Rankings, Playoffs-Quarterfinals


CSN Top 20 Rankings, Playoffs-Quarterfinals

1 Maine South (11-0)
Last Week (Ranked 1): Defeated Conant 27-13
Next Game: 8A Playoffs vs. Glenbard North
PrepsTalk: No second-round slump this time around. The Hawks roll into the quarterfinals behind 244 total yards and three touchdowns from Northwestern-bound quarterback Matt Alviti.

2 Glenbard West (11-0)
Last Week (Ranked 2): Defeated Libertyville 38-10
Next Game: 7A Playoffs vs. Wheaton North
PrepsTalk: The Hilltoppers sacked Libertyville quarterback Jack Deichl nine times, including 3 from Jack Wheeler. Devante Toney and Nathan Marcus also found the end zone for Glenbard West.

3 Lincoln-Way East (11-0)
Last Week (Ranked 3): Defeated Providence 24-14
Next Game: 7A Playoffs vs. Edwardsville
PrepsTalk: The defense produced a safety and contained Celtics running back Brandon Price. Solid games on offense from running back Nick Colangelo and quarterback Tom Fuessel.

4 Loyola (10-1)
Last Week (Ranked 4): Defeated Bartlett 31-7
Next Game: 8A Playoffs vs. Palatine
PrepsTalk: The Ramblers cruise after an early 7-0 deficit. Running back Julius Holley (22 carries, 113 yards, TD) and quarterback Peter Pujals (31-45, 266 yards, rushing TD) come through once again.

5 Marian Central Catholic (11-0)
Last Week (Ranked 5): Defeated Woodstock North 41-20
Next Game: 5A Playoffs vs. Montini
PrepsTalk: The Hurricanes utilized three second-half turnovers and Chris Streveler (259 total yards, three TDs) took over from there. And look who comes to Woodstock for the quarterfinals

6 Mount Carmel (10-1)
Last Week (Ranked 6): Defeated Simeon 41-6
Next Game: 8A Playoffs at Lyons
PrepsTalk: The Caravan held the Wolverines to four total yards in the first half. Draco Smith, Matt Domer, Don Butkus and Vincent Speller all scored for Frank Lentis crew.

7 Crete-Monee (11-0)
Last Week (Ranked 7): Defeated Richwoods 35-32
Next Game: 6A Playoffs vs. Ottawa
PrepsTalk: Laquon Treadwells interception return for a score and one-yard TD reception helped erase a dismal seven-turnover day by the Warriors; C-M avenges last years playoff loss to Richwoods.

8 Palatine (10-1)
Last Week (Ranked 9): Defeated Schaumburg 42-14
Next Game: 8A Playoffs at Loyola
PrepsTalk: An opportunistic defense and an offense led by Ethan Olles, Cam Kuksa, Alex Nawrot and John Serio pace Palatine. The Pirates reach the 10-win mark for the first time since 1997.

9 Neuqua Valley (11-0)
Last Week (Ranked 10): Defeated Bolingbrook 44-33
Next Game: 8A Playoffs vs. Waubonsie Valley
PrepsTalk: Another game, another signature win by Neuquas program. Joey Rhattigan: 27 carries, 27 carries, 344 yards, five touchdowns. And you thought the first Neuqua-Waubonsie game was big

10 Cary-Grove (11-0)
Last Week (Ranked 11): Defeated St. Patrick 49-21
Next Game: 6A Playoffs vs. Crystal Lake Central
PrepsTalk: The Trojans racked up 551 rushing yards, 205 of those from Kyle Norberg. The senior fullback also scored three touchdowns. Quarterback Quinn Baker rushed for 188 yards and a score.

11 Waubonsie Valley (10-1)
Last Week (Ranked 12): Defeated Oak Park-River Forest 28-7
Next Game: 8A Playoffs at Neuqua Valley
PrepsTalk: Austin Guido (232 yards on 39 rushes) and quarterback Dylan Warden scored two touchdowns apiece. It sets up a very interesting rematch in Naperville.

12 Glenbard North (10-1)
Last Week (Ranked 13): Defeated Stevenson 23-14
Next Game: 8A Playoffs at Maine South
PrepsTalk: Justin Jackson was Ironman against the Patriots. He piled up 216 yards on 48 carries with three touchdowns. Playing cornerback, he helped tame a very talented Stevenson offense.

13 Wheaton North (10-1)
Last Week (Ranked 14): Defeated Prospect 14-7
Next Game: 7A Playoffs at Glenbard West
PrepsTalk: Quarterback John Peltz hooked up with Matt Biegalski on a 5-yard scoring toss in the fourth that proved to be the winning score. Clayton Thorson left the game with a collarbone injury.

14 Benet (10-1)
Last Week (Ranked 16): Defeated Oswego 28-13
Next Game: 7A Playoffs at Downers Grove North
PrepsTalk: Porter Ontko has helped cement the Redwings as a top defensive team (INT-TD against Oswego), but how about his skills on offense: 213 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

15 Lemont (10-1)
Last Week (Ranked 17): Defeated Richards 23-19
Next Game: 6A Playoffs at Oak Forest
PrepsTalk: The defense, led by Connor OBriens two forced fumbles was clutch once again. Quarterback Zach Brosseau: 20-for-29, 231 yards, TD. A rematch and rivalry game await.

16 Oak Forest (10-1)
Last Week (Not Ranked): Defeated Shepard 69-29
Next Game: 6A Playoffs vs. Lemont
PrepsTalk: The Bengals make a big splash en route to the quarterfinals, with Ben Santiago scoring four touchdowns against the Astros. Lemont beat Oak Forest 17-14 back on September 21.

17 Morris (10-1)
Last Week (Not Ranked): Defeated Urbana 65-20
Next Game: 5A Playoffs at Washington
PrepsTalk: The Redskins, familiar faces in in November IHSA football, roll into the quarterfinals behind Reese Sobols 321 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Collin Grogan also had two scores.

18 Montini (9-2)
Last Week (Not Ranked): Defeated Sycamore 24-22
Next Game: 5A Playoffs at Marian Central Catholic
PrepsTalk: Andrew Harte's 34-yard field goal with five seconds left gave the Broncos the victory. It sets up (what else is new) another dramatic showdown with their Suburban Christian Blue foes.

19 Lake Zurich (9-2)
Last Week (Not Ranked): Defeated Hononegah 17-6
Next Game: 7A Playoffs vs. Boylan
PrepsTalk: The Bears overcame three consecutive second-half turnovers to get the victory. Lake Zurich sealed the game when Robert Rossdeutchers interception led to a six-yard touchdown run by quarterback Sean Lynch.

20 Lyons (7-4)
Last Week (Not Ranked): Defeated OFallon 42-27
Next Game: 8A Playoffs vs. Mount Carmel
PrepsTalk: A big win for the Lions, traveling close to five hours to get the victory. Leonard Ross and Zach Mahoney each had two rushing touchdowns. Jake Elliott kicked four field goals.

Looming and Lurking: Lake Forest, Aurora Christian, Joliet Catholic, Notre Dame, Brooks, Evergreen Park, Downers Grove North, Lincoln-Way West, Crystal Lake Central, Kaneland, Bolingbrook, Providence, Lakes, Richards, Coal City.

Be sure to follow @JoeCSN and @PrepsTalkCSN for prep football coverage.

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Griffins hope to avoid 'sick feeling' going forward after blowout loss to Bradley

Griffins hope to avoid 'sick feeling' going forward after blowout loss to Bradley

Not all losses are created equal.

When Lincoln-Way East suffered a 35-30 defeat in Week 3 to Homewood-Flossmoor, the Griffins took positives away from the loss. They had held a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, battled back from adversity in the second half and had a chance to win the game in the final minute. Even that loss in retrospect appeared acceptable – if there ever was an acceptable loss – as the Vikings are currently 8-0 and in their other seven wins have outscored their opponents by an average of 38 points.

By Week 3 the Griffins were still acclimating to the unique situation of playing at game speed with a host of Lincoln-Way North students who had transferred in the offseason. They had a defense made up almost entirely of first-year starters, and the offense was still rotating quarterbacks Jake Arthur and Max Shafer to figure out how to maximize their talent. By many standards the Griffins went toe-to-toe for 48 minutes with a team also considered to be a favorite for a state title.

The same couldn’t be said for the Griffins’ effort last Friday night in Bradley.

An esteemed program with a 2005 state title and 16 consecutive playoff appearances to their resume, it isn’t often the Griffins are embarrassed on Friday night. But those were the words head coach Rob Zvonar used in his postgame speech to the team following their 38-21 loss to the undefeated Boilermakers.

“We chose to play the game,” Zvonar began. “Which means you play it to the greatest of your ability and you honor each other, God, everybody by your play. And we didn’t do that tonight.”

There were plenty of reasons the Griffins suffered their second loss of the season. That is came in such blowout fashion was the bigger surprise. The Boilermakers found the end zone on their first two possessions, rallying behind a raucous home crowd hoping to see their team go 8-0 for the first time in school history.

The Griffins defense, which had allowed 27 points the previous three weeks combined, were on their heels as the Boilermakers used misdirection and a few trick plays to set up the short touchdown runs.

The Griffins offense moved down the field on their fourth possession, moving inside the Boilermakers red zone looking to get on the board. But Iowa commit Camron Harrell stepped in front of a Griffins screen pass on 4th down and returned it 89 yards for a score. On the final play of the first quarter, with the Griffins moving again, Damien Williams read a route and picked off Jake Arthur, returning it 53 yards for a score to give the Boilermakers a shocking 28-0 lead after 12 minutes.

After a spirited halftime speech from Zvonar, the Griffins came out firing in the second half, scoring on a touchdown run from Nigel Muhammad and a Jeremy Nelson 27-yard reception from Arthur. But the Boilermakers weathered the storm each time Lincoln-Way East attempted a comeback. The Griffins only got as close as 14 points late in the fourth quarter.

“I think we came into this game not ready,” said Muhammad, who finished with 164 yards on 24 carries. “But we’re all a team and we all accept this loss together.”

Added senior Jack Carroll, who finished with a team-high nine tackles: “We have this sick feeling in our stomach right now but the best thing is (next) Friday we can come back and get it out of our stomach. If we lose again in the playoffs then we’ll have that sick feeling in our stomach for the rest of our lives.”

That’s now the reality for the Griffins, and a silver lining if there ever could be one for such a blowout loss. With the playoffs a mere week away – the Griffins defeated Lockport on Friday to finish the regular season 7-2 – the feeling each of them felt getting on the bus back to Frankfort will linger with them and act as a reminder of how quickly things can slip away.

“We’re trying to put this behind us,” said Max Shafer. “We’re going to try to get hot and make a run in the playoffs.”

In a loaded 8A class, the Griffins’ two regular-season losses have already knocked them down in the seeding process. While any loss before Week 9 means little in the long run – the Griffins locked up a playoff berth weeks ago – it also means a more difficult road to Champaign. But that’s the reality for Zvonar’s group, and whether it’s a defense playing faster or an offense avoiding costly mistakes, the Griffins are running out of time to right the ship.

But Zvonar believes such a loss as the team suffered last Friday night can act as the catalyst to doing just that. The Griffins have established themselves as one of the state’s premier programs, and that means not riding the highs too high, and not breaking apart when the lows come. Last Friday night was as low as Zvonar had seen any of his 16 teams, but the silver lining occurred in that his squad now knows what it has to do to avoid it when it’s win or go home.

“What we also think is that the program is built on a solid foundation, so when you take a little hit like that you battle back and you go back to what you believe in and what you know can be successful. And that’s fundamentals and keeping things simple, and the kids have bounced back and they’re not acceptable to them what occurred to them, so very proud of their effort and the way they’re working.

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